Olcott Education Society - OMHS Bridge Project

Project Brief: Project Bridge is the attempt to bridge the digital divide at Olcott Memorial High School in Chennai.
Project Type: Formal Schools (description)
Primary Focus: children from slums (description)

Secondary Focus: children who are working

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Arizona
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Mukund Muralidhar
Project Partner(s): Lakshmi Suryanarayanan
Other Contacts: Lakshmi Suryanarayanan
Project Address: , Olcott Memorial High School (O.M.H.S.),Besant Nagar,Chennai,
TAMIL NADU  600090
Tel: +91-044-24915826
Stewarding Chapter: Arizona
Mar 2011Silicon ValleyUSD 3778
Oct 2010Silicon ValleyUSD 4000
Oct 2010ArizonaUSD 7000
Nov 2009Silicon ValleyUSD 4000
Jun 2009Silicon ValleyUSD 4000
Apr 2009ArizonaUSD 5000
Nov 2008Silicon ValleyUSD 4100
Jul 2008ArizonaUSD 6000
Apr 2008Silicon ValleyUSD 4650
Dec 2007ArizonaUSD 5006
Mar 2004PortlandUSD 1600
Mar 2003PortlandUSD 1850

Total = $50984

Project Bridge is the attempt at Olcott Memorial High School (O.M.H.S.), Chennai �90 to bridge the digital divide. This is a ever widening divide between the children of the less privileged sections of society, whose access to computer and information technology is almost nil as opposed to the ever widening digital usage by their counterparts from the more privileged sections of society.


Olcott Memorial High School
is a school that has 750 children from the poorest sections of society. The school caters to children of fisher folk from Urur Kuppam, Olcott Kuppam and Odaikuppam( Kuppam= fishing village), children of coolies, daily wage earners, house maids, auto rickshaw drivers small business hawkers of flowers and eats on the Besant Nagar beach from Damodarapuram, Lakshmipuram, Dideer Nagar, Mallippu Nagar, Kakkan Colony, the pockets in around Besant Nagar where the poor live in close proximity to the rich, elite owners of Besant Nagar�s well designed, modern apartments, houses and new cars; and distant new outskirts like Thoraipakkam and Neelankarai where some of the families displaced from places like Mallippu Nagar and Dideer Nagar have been settled by the Chennai Corporation authorities. With classes one to ten and two divisions in each class it offers education totally free to the children. Books, notebooks, uniforms, a porridge breakfast, a noon meal are provided free to these children by the Olcott Education Society (OES), the education arm of the Theosophical Society an international organization with headquarters at Chennai -
http://ts-adyar.org/

Asha Portland, Oregon has approved the project in October 2002 and Deepa Srinivasan is its Project steward at the US end. (It is an Asha Stars project and is also to receive part funding from Asha Portland.)

In December 2002 the first funds were found for 2 computers and also 10 month fees for a digital K-10 program of Schoolnet India running in the school. $1850 reached the school in rupee form by end March 2003. The fee was paid to Schoolnet till June 2003 on 28th March 2003.

2 multimedia computers were added in early April 2003 increasing the computer strength from existing 4 multimedia computers (3 had been acquired through earlier donations, 1 in the school�s office was purchased for the school). On a trial basis the internet facility has been provided in the computer in the office. The computers have been networked. The school has vacations from mid April 2003. From 15th Aril, as many as 48 students from classes 8-10 are working with the guidance of 2 teachers, an alumnus, and some older students who had learned to use the computers during the last academic year on the existing few computers. The children are at the computers in rotation from 9am in the morning to 4pm in the evening, grasping quickly, and creating little power point presentations. Some of the more experienced students are working at creating lessons for the smaller classes in English (4 and5)- the second language taught in the school. They have been able to draw some very good pictures with the mouse, download pictures from the Internet for these presentations. These experiences are helping the students increase the ability to read English and comprehend the language. The second batch of more students is to commence 15th May where more than 25 students completely new to the computers have given in their names within 2 days of announcement of these classes.

The lessons created by the students are being vetted with the teachers and will be used in the AV Room in the coming academic year.

The school is very happy that it has won an award from Intel- the national level award for Best Integration of Technology into Curriculum-Year2002, under the category of exemplary use of limited resources, The award carries a technology grant of Rs one lakh, which the school will use to improve their language laboratory to help children with further bridging the digital divide caused by the difficulties in learning English as a second language.



The Project will be greatly helped if more computers and other digital equipment can beaded quickly with the help of understanding donors and well wishers. The experience and learning material created in this school is and will always be willingly shared with other schools- especially with Asha Supported schools.

Olcott Memorial High School
is a school that has 750 children from the poorest sections of society. The school caters to children of fisher folk from Urur Kuppam, Olcott Kuppam and Odaikuppam( Kuppam= fishing village), children of coolies, daily wage earners, house maids, auto rickshaw drivers small business hawkers of flowers and eats on the Besant Nagar beach from Damodarapuram, Lakshmipuram, Dideer Nagar, Mallippu Nagar, Kakkan Colony, the pockets in around Besant Nagar where the poor live in close proximity to the rich, elite owners of Besant Nagar�s well designed, modern apartments, houses and new cars; and distant new outskirts like Thoraipakkam and Neelankarai where some of the families displaced from places like Mallippu Nagar and Dideer Nagar have been settled by the Chennai Corporation authorities. With classes one to ten and two divisions in each class it offers education totally free to the children. Books, notebooks, uniforms, a porridge breakfast, a noon meal are provided free to these children by the Olcott Education Society (OES), the education arm of the Theosophical Society an international organization with headquarters at Chennai -
http://ts-adyar.org/